Tom Chilton was the surprise pacesetter in the second WTCC practice session at Buriram, Thailand, ahead of the Hondas of Gabriele Tarquini and Norbert Michelisz.
The session started as the previous one had finished, with Jose Maria Lopez leading for Citroen, although midway through the session Campos Racing’s Hugo Valente came very close to taking the top spot.
It was at that time that championship leader Lopez further improved his lap time and looked unstoppable.
However, during the last runs, things completely changed, with a wave of independents taking the lead starting with Mehdi Bennani, who was soon passed by Michelisz and eventual pace-setter Chilton.
As the session ended, Tarquini jumped up to second ahead of Michelisz, with Tiago Monteiro showing good pace in his Honda Civic in fourth.
Bennani came fifth ahead of Valente, once again the fastest Chevrolet runner, albeit this time as little as 0.005s quicker than fellow Campos Racing driver John Filippi.
Lopez slipped down to eighth, with Citroen teammate Sebastien Loeb in ninth and Gregoire Demoustier completing the top 10.
Rob Huff finished 12th, although this time he was the quickest Lada driver, with Yvan Muller continuing his struggles by finishing just behind the Brit.
Nicolas Lapierre made it to the track for three laps as the Lada team did a very good job in repairing the car from the Frenchman’s earlier crash, which was caused by a suspension failure.
Again, a number of drivers were warned or disallowed lap times due to track limits, with Nicky Catsburg and Tin Sritrai among the drivers awarded a penalty.
|8||Jose Maria Lopez||Citroen||1'39.398||0.517|
|11||Ma Qing Hua||Citroen||1'39.682||0.801|